Raffael Tonello joins Schalke 04, Mathias Schober departs the club

As part of the club’s restructuring of the sporting management positions, another important decision has been made. Raffael Tonello, most recently chief scout at Watford, will take over as head of the academy and the club’s head youth scout. As part of this restructuring, the role of director of the Knappenschmiede and development is no longer required. As a result, Mathias Schober’s contract has ended with immediate effect.

Tonello will begin work auf Schalke on 1st April and will play a role in planning the first-team squad for next season, assisting sporting director Marc Wilmots. At the same time, Tonello will assume responsibility for the U17s to the U23s, thus helping to further strengthen the close links between the first team and the academy.

Matthias Tillmann, the club’s CEO, commented: “The arrival of Raffael Tonello is an important move as part of our restructuring. Raffael has built up an impressive scouting network and will play a big part in our squad planning for the 2024/25 season. As head of the academy, he will closely work with the first-team setup to ensure that our talented youngsters in the Knappenschmiede find their way into the first team. We’re delighted that he will begin his work in the coming days.”

Tillmann added that, after constructive and respectful discussions, the club had agreed to part ways with Mathias Schober: “We spoke at great length with Mathias and explained why our shake-up would have an impact on the academy too, as well as what we wanted to achieve with some changes. Mathias is a Schalker through and through and has done some great work over the past four years as director of the Knappenschmiede. He helped shape the club’s academy and attracted some real talents to Gelsenkirchen who went on to play for the first team – such as Malick Thiaw, Keke Topp and Assan Ouédraogo. We therefore owe him our thanks. We would like to wish him all the best for the future.”

Raffael Tonello profile:

Tonello was most recently chief scout at Watford. The 48-year-old previously worked as a scout for Eintracht Frankfurt in various functions. The striker represented several clubs during his playing career. He played 20 games (3 goals) for Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga and five matches (1 goal) in the second division. He scored 35 goals in 104 Regionalliga games for Sportfreunde Siegen, Kickers Offenbach, KFC Uerdingen and Eintracht Frankfurt’s reserves.